Today, retail means much more than owning a brick and mortar store; it encompasses a wide variety of activities, including eCommerce, mobile commerce and social commerce. Retail stores need to have a uniform approach that integrates all aspects of their retail business but uses a wide variety of methods to gain customers’ attention. Omni-channel retailing gives retailers the chance to interact with customers through a variety of methods that all serve as an extension of their physical stores.
Successful retailing today means more than operating a physical store. It means incorporating all aspects of omni-channel retailing successfully to integrate the experience for the customer and the simplicity of doing business for the retail store. Customers should be able to view your store online, through a mobile application or on a kiosk in store and see the same approach, making it a simple process to complete the sale, no matter how they connect.
Ways to increase holiday sales – omni-channel retailing
- Email Marketing – Customers love to have information right at their fingertips. They do not want to have to search for it. By taking advantage of email marketing, you can send targeted messages to customers during the holiday season regarding time sensitive sales and coupons to increase your business during specified periods of time.
- Make eCommerce Easy – When you treat all aspects of your eCommerce efforts as an extension of your physical store, you can allow customers to buy online and return in store. You can also allow them to buy online and have it shipped to the store or use an in-store coupon online, any way that allows customers to have a seamless experience regardless of the method through which they originally interacted with your store.
- Specialized Sales – Just like Black Friday brings incredible hype to the brick-and-mortar stores, retail stores can use omni-channel retailing during the holiday season with the same efforts. Offering “Door Busters” or other time-sensitive deals through your mobile applications and website gives customers the drive to want to visit your store through these methods during those hours.
- Mobile Promotions – Encourage customers to connect with you by offering incentives for customers who tweet from inside your store or use your mobile application to check in. Use the social media consumers love to encourage them to connect with you. Reward your customers with a special coupon or sale for their efforts.
- Brand Awareness – Retailers should begin using all channels of their retail operation starting now to build brand awareness for the Holiday 2012 Season. Start creating your call-to-action plans to get consumers excited about the events and promotions you will have coming up for the holiday season.
- Variation Is Key – As tempting as it is to flood the inboxes and push notifications of smart phones, retailers need to use the various omni-channels with the consumer in mind. They do not want the same messages over and over again. It is imperative to vary your messages so each one has a different aspect to portray the same message to get consumers onto your website, on your applications and in your store.
- Offer Incentives – Give consumers an incentive to “like” your retail store on Facebook or Twitter. Offer a real incentive for doing so by sending emails that portray a strong call-to-action and a valuable incentive.
- Personalized Gift Guides – Consumers love to shop where others shop and buy what others buy. Tailor your emails and social media updates to reflect “What’s Hot Today” or something similar to create urgency in consumers to want to buy the “popular” items that day.
- Daily Deals – Daily deals are becoming increasingly popular and are easy to utilize with the help of the various omni-channels available. Offer email notifications, push notifications and social media notifications of the daily deal to increase the excitement and sale over specific products during the holiday season.
- Reward Loyal Customers – Use your omni-channels to thank customers for their loyalty, sending personalized incentives as a thank you to increase the chance for repeat business.